Smart Talk October 19th – 25th, 2019

Check out this week’s Smart Talk where we join in the groundbreaking for Smithtown’s first TOD project, join the fun at the Grand Baldwin festival, and more…

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October 19th – 25th, 2019


Harleys American Grille

Located on Main Street in downtown Farmingdale, this newly 5-star rated restaurant invites you to experience a culinary adventure in a relaxed, trendy atmosphere of refined service. Harleys American Grille is known for its innovative and edgy cuisine and provides the ultimate in a true dining experience.

Their mission is to ensure every guest has a remarkable experience and they are committed to delivering the highest standard of hospitality while serving superior quality cuisine.

They “STEAK” their reputaion on it.

“Walkable downtowns, where there are restaurants and pubs, where they can walk rather than drive and they want to live in an apartment.” – Smithtown Supervisor Ed Wehrheim
“They want to live in environments with vibrant downtowns and to put the housing here, which gives them access to shops and the train station and it helps the small businesses.” – Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone

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Smithtown Breaks Ground on First Transit-Oriented Development

Vision was out this week at the groundbreaking for a 71 unit downtown redevelopment project in Smithtown.

What made this event an incredibly special occasion was that we were in the Town of Smithtown.  For decades the Town was simply not open to creative redevelopment on the Main Street’s within the Township. That has clearly changed.

Dubbed the Lofts at Maple on Main, the $18.2 million project will be built on the former site of the Nassau-Fuffolk Lumber & Supply Corp.  Located across from town hall, the development will include a three-story building on Main Street with 71 one- and two-bedroom apartments on the top floors and 15,000 square feet of retail on the bottom.  It will also be located just a short walk away from the Smithtown LIRR and downtown Village of the Branch.

“They want to live in environments with vibrant downtowns and to put the housing here, which gives them access to shops and the train station and it helps the small businesses,” Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said.

Credit belongs to Town Supervisor Ed Werheim and his team, who were all in attendance including Councilpersons Thomas McCarthy, Lynne Nowick, Lisa Inzerillo and Tom Lohmann.  Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone headlined the event with the Supervisor to continue to show support for these types of developments.  Developers Anthony DiCarlo and contractor Andrew Zucaro updated the group on project details as well.

“Walkable downtowns, where there are restaurants and pubs, where they can walk rather than drive and they want to live in an apartment,” said Smithtown Supervisor Ed Wehrheim.

NYS Assemblyman Michael Fitzpatrick spoke in support of the project as well as Mario Mattera, local resident and from the Plumbers Union, and Vision’s Director Eric Alexander.  The project will include affordable units and pay upwards of 250,000 in taxes for a lot that has long been vacant and generate 50 jobs. This “groundbreaking was truly groundbreaking” in more ways than one.

“There’s events and activities and vibrancy to a town center,” said Vision Long Island Director Eric Alexander.

Check out further coverage from Newsday and CBS 2.

Baldwin Community hosts Grand Baldwin Festival

Vision was out with thousands of Baldwin residents and business owners at the Grand Baldwin Festival, sponsored by the Baldwin Public Library.  The Festival featured a pop-up market, food vendors, great music and art.

Vision was at a booth promoting Baldwin’s Grand Avenue Revitalization, with over 200 residents stopping in to sign up for meetings and show support for the existing plans underway. We fielded questions on the status of the Grand Ave Overlay District and the preliminary process for the NYS DRI $10 million funding for the community.

A range of elected officials stopped by the booth to share their thoughts including Nassau County Executive Laura Curran, NYS Assemblywoman Judy Griffin, Town of Hempstead Supervisor Laura Gillen, Clerk Sylvia Cabana, and Magda Campbell from the Office of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.  It was also great to see the two candidates for Town Council visit including Lora Webster and Christopher Carini.

We really enjoyed talking to folks all day about how much they love their community and how nice almost everyone was.  Congratulations to our good friends and community partners at the Baldwin Clvic Association and the Baldwin Community Coalition, who hosted the festival and did a phenomenal job!

Plans Revealed to Replace Capri Motel with 80-Unit Apartment Complex in Lynbrook

This past Monday, managing partner Anthony Bartone of Terwillinger & Bartone presented plans to Village of Lynbrook residents for the redevelopment of the former Capri Motel in Lynbrook. 

These plans are the product of an extended process where Mr. Bartone worked to gather feedback from local residents in order to create a development in line with what the community wanted.  The site of the project is also the current location of the Capri Motel, a local building known for crime a high number of arrests.

The new plan will seek to replace the blighted motel with 80 units of housing including 28 studios, 44 one bedroom units, and 8 two bedrooms.  The state of the art building will also offer modern amenities for residents including a fitness center, clubroom, and courtyard.  The building will also be located just a short distance from the train station, offering more options for tenants.

The developer is seeking a special use permit to allow a multifamily building to be built in a commercially zoned area.  13 spoke in favor of the project, mostly village residents who expressed gratitude that Mr. Bartone stuck with the community after a previous project was opposed and ultimately withdrawn..  There was also 1 opposed speaker and 3 with questions or mixed feelings about the project.

Vision spoke after listening to the voices of the community and expressed support for local decisions to be made by village residents, business owners, and other stakeholders.  We also seconded the many positive things already said about the proposed development.

“We’re knocking down this motel one way or another as soon as you say so,” said Anthony Bartone of the project.

$350,000 Walkability Grant Headed to Lindenhurst

Suffolk County has announced that Lindenhurst will receive a $350,000 grant to improve walkability in the local downtown.

The grant come as part of the Jumpstart Suffolk initiative that is being spearheaded by County Executive Steve Bellone.  The funds are part of 8 total grants totaling more than $3 million that will be distributed to local projects that improve walkability and transit-oriented development.

The funds awarded to Lindenhurst come as the village has really worked to fill its downtown with new businesses.  The Village has also just recently broken ground on a new 260-unit apartment complex and is seemingly on an upward trajectory towards revitalization.

The announcement came at Villa Pizza in downtown Lindenhurst, where Steve Bellone was joined by Assemblywoman Kimberly Jean-Pierre, NYS Senator John Brooks, and former Assemblyman Robert Sweeney.

“Our whole economic development program here in Suffolk County is based on supporting local communities who have a vision and are making the kind of investments that are not only going to help the local communities,” said Executive Bellone. “To a great extent, what happens in Lindenhurst and how Lindenhurst goes, is how Suffolk County goes.”

Lindenhurst Trustee RJ Renna was also at the event and talked about the process to get here and how this ties in with the recent walkability studied conducted in the downtown by Greenman-Pedersen, Inc.  Vision Long Island is happy to have joined in the process as well to try and help local residents have the walkable streets of a healthy downtown.

“We want to be able to provide safe streets,” said Trustee Renna, “we know that we can make some serious improvements in Lindenhurst to make it more handicap accessible and more attractive to both older generations and new generations to come.”

You can read more at Newsday.

Smithtown Chamber Honors Gina Coletti

Sometimes you work with some really special people and it’s exciting to see them get properly honored.

Vision Board and staff were out this week to support our good friend Gina Coletti​​ as the honoree at the Smithtown Chamber of Commerce’s gala.

Ms. Coletti’s dedication to a range of community initiatives including the Nesconset Chamber of Commerce and Suffolk County Downtown Revitalization Committee, as well as her work on career mapping and support for women in business all compliment her professional career in real estate. She has been honored with LIBN’s top 50 women and a LI Smart Growth Award, along with many others.

Gina genuinely helps the people around her and brings a strong voice for Suffolk’s small businesses.  Beautiful to see her honored along with her family, friends and colleagues.

Congratulations to Gina as well as Barbara Franco and her team at the Smithtown Chamber for the designation.

Posillico Organization Cuts Ribbon on Soil Washing Facility

Vision Board and staff were out in East Farmingdale at the ribbon cutting for an innovative soil washing facility, built and operated by the Posillico organization.

This is the largest soil washing facility in the world that will help clean up brownfield sites throughout the NY metropolitan region.  Michael Posillico spoke of the over 2,000 people who were in some way involved in getting the project approved and built.

“These contaminated soils pollute our groundwater, our drinking water and makes us sick,” said Mr. Posillico.  “Enough is enough on illegal dumping. The government policy came together and this project came together.”

NYS Senator Todd Kaminsky noted that “we must deal with groundwater issues. We are going to crack down on illegal dumping and pass legislation this year”

 “What you have done here creates a tectonic shift in how we deal with these issues. Really a model for our country,” said Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone.

“They employ 800 people which are high paying jobs for our residents,” said Town of Babylon Supervisor Rich Schaffer.

Mr. Posillico closed by outlining the 50,000 tons of contaminated material at the brownfields site they purchased in Island Park that has now been cleaned.  Kudos to former Vision Board member Michael Posillico for his leadership in the region.

It was great to see the Posillico team celebrate their achievement including our friend and current Board member John Trotta.

You can read more at Newsday.

Nassau Council of Chambers of Commerce Holds Annual Breakfast

Vision Board and staff were out with nearly 600 attendees this past week at the Nassau Council of Chambers of Commerce breakfast.  We were happy to see all the strong support for this organization that focuses on shopping locally and supports local downtown revitalization efforts.

NYS Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul was in attendance and spoke in support of local Main Streets, stating that “If we don’t support our small businesses they will be gone.”  She went on to state, “I love the NYS Downtown Revitalization Initiative funding we have done throughout the State.  And we are now turning the corner retaining our millennials as the population on LI ages 25-34 is now up 12%.

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran spoke next, saying “First we have gratitude for everyone that runs a small business in Nassau County.  While controversial, we need to support the NESE pipeline. Clean natural gas is a bridge fuel to future clean energy alternatives.”

The County Executive went on to update the group on plans for the Nassau HUB, a more transparent IDA, and welcomed new Minority Affairs Director Lionel Chitty where she noted his background with the Hicksville Chamber and Vision.

“Transit Oriented Development is the way to go,” she said.  “We need development around our train stations. Along with many great courageous Nassau Mayors Farmingdale is the model on how to get it done.”

Other elected officials at the event included NYS Assemblymembers Ed Ra, Taylor Darling, Nassau County Presiding Officer Rich Nicolello, Legislators Rose Walker, Laura Schaefer, Town of N.Hempstead Supervisor Judi Bosworth, Oyster Bay Supervisor Joseph Saladino, Town of Hempstead Supervisor Laura Gillen, Senior Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby, Village of Lynbrook Mayor Alan Beach, and Village of Farmingdale Mayor Ralph Ekstrand among others.

Great to see many Vision Board members out to support the Nassau Chambers including John Keating, Kathy Wisnewski, Lionel Chitty, Dr. Nathalia Rogers, David Leno, Bob Fonti and Richard Kessel.

Kudos to the Nassau Chambers Breakfast Chair Julie Marchesella for organizing a great program.

Congratulations as well to incoming President Dennis Grossman and current and future Vice President Frank Camarano for their leadership.

LISTnet Gala Held in Garden City

Vision was out this Monday with our good friends at the LI Software and Technology Awards Gala at the Garden City Hotel.

Over 300 people were in attendance to support the group’s program, which includes networking, mentoring, small business, and community development.

Excellent job by Peter Goldsmith and Paul Trapani for all they do for the Long Island Tech community.

It was also great to see Vision Board member Brandon Ray from AT&T along with their Director Amy Kramer.

You can see a full gallery of pictures from the event here.

Anthony Bartone Honored by Theodore Roosevelt Council

Anthony Bartone, Vision Long Island board member and managing partner of Terwilliger & Bartone Properties, was honored last weekend by the Theodore Roosevelt Council for his local efforts in real estate and community leadership.  Mr. Bartone also sits on the board for Long Island Homebuilders Care, which is the charitable arm of the Long Island Builders Institute. 

 “I want to thank the Theodore Roosevelt Council for this great honor,” said Mr. Bartone. “At Terwilliger & Bartone, we don’t just invest in our projects — we are committed to investing in the community as a whole wherever we build.”

The Theodore Roosevelt Council is one of the country’s oldest chapters of the Boy Scouts of America.  Mr. Bartone was honored as part of the Council’s 10th annual Design, Construction, and Real Estate Dinner. 

You can read more at LI Times.

Riverhead to Hold ‘Weekend of Fun & Fright’ October 25th – 26th

Beginning Friday, October 25th, the Riverhead BID will be hosting a weekend of Halloween-themed events beginning with a viewing of the Rocky Horror Picture Show at the Suffolk Theater, beginning at 8 pm on Friday.  Prizes will be awarded for the best Rocky Horror costumes. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and seating is limited. Tickets can be reserved in advance.

Beginning 8 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 26, the Run for the Ridley 5K will kick off, followed by a Bats, Barnacles & Broomsticks Halloween Party organized by the Long Island Aquarium from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.  From noon to 9:30 p.m., Escape Quest Long Island be open with in-costume walk-ins welcome.

The annual coffin races will run from 3 to 4 p.m. on Saturday as well.  Also at 3 p.m., community the first showing of “Dracula the Play” will take place at Vail-Leavitt Music Hall followed by trick-or-treating and entertainment along Main Street from 4 to 6 p.m.

From 6 p.m. through the end of the night, the Reflextions Art in the Park exhibit will be on display at Grangebel Park, featuring Halloween-themed art, lights and ghosts. The Grand Halloween Costume Parade Line-up will also begin at 6 p.m., with the parade starting an hour later, at 7 p.m.  Prizes will be awarded for best costume, best spirit and best decorated car following the parade.

A second showing of “Dracula the Play” will run at 8 p.m., at the same time as an adult-only masquerade ball created by the Long Island Aquarium.

A rain date for the festivities is Sunday, Oct. 27.  If Saturday’s festivities are rained out, the same order will follow Sunday for the coffin races, trick-or-treating and costume parade

AARP LI Offering Level-Up Entrepreneur Workshops Starting October 26th

AARP Long Island and SpringBoard Incubators Inc is offering Level-Up Entrepreneur Workshops this fall and winter.  There is no charge for AARP members and guests to join and attend these workshops.

The number of entrepreneurs over age 50 is surging in the United States, having increased by 50 percent since 2007, according to a new research report.  Today, 3 in 10 entrepreneurs are 50-plus today, compared to 2 in 10 in 2007.  Seventy-eight percent of business owners 50 and older said the top reason they’d recommend starting a business was the satisfaction of working for themselves.

The Level-up Entrepreneurs Workshops for AARP Long Island will offer interested entrepreneurs the ability to formulate their business ideas and establish a foundation on which to build a successful business. Some of the key takeaways from this workshop includes access to information, organizations, and resources required to start-up, establish and/or grow their business. 

The workshop will consist of 6 Saturday events beginning October 26th.  They will take place through December 14th from 10am to 2pm.  Space is limited.  Please officially RSVP and Register ASAP.  You must register at OR call to register at 1-877-926-8300 as soon as possible. 

Remember, you must register and be able to attend ALL 6 Saturday sessions.  Also, be sure to come by the AARP resource info table before and after each sessions.  Learn more about what AARP is doing in your local community!

Long Island Vegan Extravaganza comes to Brentwood October 26th

Long Island Vegan Extravaganza Fall Fest will be take place this Saturday, October 26th, indoors, at the Sisters of St. Joseph in Brentwood.  Formerly located in Huntington, the event has grown at such an accelerated rate that it was forced to seek a larger venue, which it was able to find in Brentwood.

Around 60 vendors will be present at the event and a variety of cuisines ranging from comfort food to desserts to healthy alternatives will be available for festival goers.  Admission is $8 or $5 in advance.  12 and younger get in for free.

You can register and get directions to the event here.  Doors open at 11 am.

Westbury Arts to Hold Spooktacular Fundraiser on Oct. 29th

Westbury Arts will be celebrating Halloween with a costume ball and fundraiser at Westbury Manor on Tuesday, October 29th.

The local Arts group will work to turn the Manor hall into a haunted house for the festivities, which will also feature entertainment, hors d’oeuvres, raffles, music, dancing, and signature cocktails.  There will also be a costume contest with a $500 prize for the winner, so come dressed in your best one!

Tickets for the event are being sold for $50 each, with proceeds going directly to supporting Westbury Arts.

You can purchase tickets for the event here.

3rd Annual PinkTie Halloween Party to be held on Wednesday, October 30th

Join, if you dare, for their 3rd Annual Halloween Party! Be sure to dress in your best costumes as prizes will be awarded to the best male and female costumes!  General Admission Tickets include food, beer, and wine.  VIPink Tickets* include Premium Liquor Bar in addition to food, beer, and wine.

This year’s event will take place at the Carltun at Eisenhower Park and is benefiting Long Island Fight for Charity.  Performers include “PINK PUNCHERS” presented by FBA National, Tabetha “The Pit Bull” Pradel, Karen “Angel Gloves” Scutellaro, Vincent “Vinbones” Melillo, Joseph “Deal Maker” Vozza, and Adam “The Hard Drive” Schwam

You can purchase tickets for this important charitable event here.

*Active PinkTie 1000 Members will receive VIPink upgrade at check-in.  PinkTie 1000, the event organizer, is an initiative of with the goal to compel 1,000 individuals from the real estate industry, and beyond, to commit to contributing $100 each quarter ($400/year) to various local charitable causes, four times per year.  All donations are tax deductible to the full extent of the law.

Cuomo Announces $3 Million for Zero-Emission Vehicles and Infrastructure

Governor Cuomo has announced #3 million in funding for municipalities to purchase zero-emission vehicles and infrastructure.

The funds will come in the form of rebates and grants administered by the State Department of Environmental Conversation (DEC) and supported by the state’s Environmental Protection Fund.  This comes as part of the governor’s plan to create nation-leading climate goals as well as clean transportation initiatives that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

This round of funding will be administered by DEC through the New York State Grants Gateway and includes the following:

Clean Vehicle Rebates: $500,000
Rebates are available to municipalities that purchase (or lease for a minimum of 36 months) an eligible, clean vehicle placed into municipal service at a dealership in New York State on or after July 1, 2019. Plug-in hybrid, all-electric, or hydrogen fuel cell vehicles with a 10- to 50-mile electric range are eligible for rebates of $2,500. Vehicles with an electric range of 51 miles or greater are eligible for rebates of $5,000. DEC will accept applications until July 24, 2020, or until funding is exhausted, whichever occurs first.

ZEV Infrastructure Grants: $2,500,000
Grants are available to municipalities to install hydrogen filling station components or electric vehicle supply equipment that is Level 2 or direct current fast charge (DCFC).  A 20 percent local match based on total project cost is required. Maximum grant amounts are $250,000 for any facility and $500,000 to any one municipality. There is no minimum award amount. DEC will accept applications until May 29, 2020, or until funding is exhausted, whichever occurs first.

 Full details regarding both programs are available in the Requests for Applications on the DEC website:

FTA Makes $19.9 Million Available for TOD Planning

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has announced the availability of approximately $19.19 million in Pilot Program for TOD Planning funding to support comprehensive planning associated with new fixed guideway and core capacity improvement projects. The FTA will award grants ranging from $250,000 to $2 million for proposals that meet the key objectives of the TOD Pilot Program.

The Pilot Program for TOD Planning provides funding to local communities to integrate land use and transportation planning in new fixed guideway and core capacity transit project corridors. As required by statute, any comprehensive planning funded through the pilot program must examine ways to improve economic development and ridership, foster multimodal connectivity and accessibility, improve transit access for pedestrian and bicycle traffic, engage the private sector, identify infrastructure needs, and enable mixed-use development near transit stations. The statute also requires that the planning work be associated with a new fixed guideway or core capacity transit project as defined in Federal transit statute (49 USC 5309(a); also see the NOFO for the definitions).

Synopses and full announcement are posted on site as opportunity FTA-2019-010-TPE. Proposals must be submitted electronically through the website by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on November 18, 2019.

Riverhead Hosts 44th Annual Riverhead County Fair

Check out this Gallery of images from the 44th annual Riverhead County fair!  The event featured live music, agricultural and homemaking displays, dance, farm animals, carnival rides, and more!  Be sure to check out the pictures of the annual pumpkin and vegetable decorating and carving contest.

Check out the gallery at Riverhead News Review.

Smart Talk

Eric Alexander, Director; Tawaun Weber, Assistant Director;
Christopher Kyle, Communications Director; Elissa Kyle, Placemaking Director; Jon Siebert, Administrative Director

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Vision Long Island
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Phone: 631-261-0242. Fax: 631-754-4452.

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